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St Joseph’s H.S. Crossmaglen bid for first All Ireland Title

March 17, 2014

Since the formation of St Joseph’s in 1964 until 2007 the school has competed in Vocational football for boys and has achieved great success. Former coaches through this time period were Rory Kierans and Colin Quinn.

In 2007 St Joseph’s entered Ulster Colleges football for boys and immediately gained Ulster success in their inaugural year with the U-16 Herald Cup and the U-14 Ennis cup.

Over the past seven years competing in Ulster Colleges’ competitions the boys have won five Ulster titles and played in numerous Ulster semi-finals and finals.

In the 2013/14 season, under new principal John Jones and in the school’s Golden Jubilee) the school entered the U-18 Nolan Cup competition for the first time. This decision was made due to the increasing numbers returning to study A-Levels and the ever expanding curriculum choice for pupils at post 16.

Our Jubilee year began in style with the winning of the U-16 Boys Ulster Herald cup. In November the U-18 team began its campaign and this resulted in a historic breakthrough by winning the U-18 Nolan cup for the first time in February. This most recent Ulster success gave the school their first opportunity to compete at All–Ireland level. Last week in Inniskeen the St Joseph’s boys performed heroics in overcoming a strong Gormanstown college team to book their place in their first ever All-Ireland football final.

The school’s football team’s reflect the catchment area and the rich history of our local clubs. The hard work and support of our local clubs- Crossmaglen Rangers, Silverbridge Harps, St Patrick’s, Cullyhanna, Culloville Blues, Forkhill, Dorsey Emmet’s and Mullaghbawn are the primary reason why we have enjoyed so much recent success.

Notable past players include Fran McMahon, Martin McQuillan, Francie Bellew, Aaron Kernan, David McKenna, Peter Carragher, Eddie English, Jemar Hall, P.J Mc Cann and current Armagh captain Ciaran McKeever. Peter McDonnell, the current Armagh selector is a former pupil and his son Eoghan is a current key member of this U-18 school team.

Many of the present team have won U-16, minor and U-21 championship medals for their respective clubs.

Since 2007 the drive to continue Gaelic success in St Joseph’s has been led by Ollie Reel from Silverbridge Harps (former county senior player and two times Hogan cup winner and captain), John McMahon from Shane O’Neills (current Strength and Conditioning coach with St Colm’s Ballinascreen in Derry), Oliver Short from Crossmaglen Rangers (former manager and coach of a successful McRory Cup winning team with St Pats Maghera Derry).

The current management have been ably assisted by former pupil Stephen Sheridan from Peadar O’Doirnans Forkhill and Joby Burke from Keady Dywers.

St Joseph’s is an all ability co-educational school that has embraced the new emerging Ireland of cultural diversity. Our U-18 joint captain Arnus Dzinkevicius hails from Lithuania and has been an ever present player in every school team over the last seven years. Arnus burst onto the scene with a four goal haul in the Ennis cup final of 2010, four years later Arnus and Conor Connolly will lead the South Armagh school in their first schools All-Ireland Final.

The venue for the All-Ireland U-18 Final next Saturday 22nd March is Markievicz Park in Sligo. Throw in @ 2.00 pm

The Path to the final

League Section

St. Joseph’s, Crossmaglen  5-14 Colaiste Feirste, Belfast 4-8

St. Joseph’s, Crossmaglen 3-15 Lismore Comprehensive, Lurgan 3-9

St.Joseph’s, Crossmaglen 0-16 St. Killians, Garrontower 5-2

Quarter-Final

St. Joseph’s, Crossmaglen 3-16 St. Patricks, Bearnageeha 1-08

Semi-Final

St. Joseph’s, Crossmaglen 0-16 St. Joseph’s, Donaghmore   1-7

Ulster Nolan Cup Final

St Joseph’s, Crossmaglen 2-9 Lumen Christi College, Derry 1-6

All-Ireland Quarter Final

St. Joseph’s, Crossmaglen 3-8 Magherafelt NRC 1-11

All Ireland Semi Final

St Joseph’s,Crossmaglen 2-11 Franciscan College Gormanstown 2 -6

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